Medtronic pays $9.9M to settle kickback claims

Medtronic has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to settle a whistleblower case over alleged kickbacks to physicians who treated patients with its pacemakers and defibrillators.

The U.S. Department of Justice alleged that Medtronic persuaded physicians to use its pacemakers and defibrillators by paying those who implanted its devices speaking fees at events designed to bring in referrals, developing marketing and business strategies at no charge and giving tickets for athletic events.

The charges stated that as a result, false claims were submitted for reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid, which is a violation under the False Claims Act.

The whistleblower case was filed by Adolfo Schroeder, a former employee, in the Eastern District of California. He will receive $1.73 million of the $9.9 million payment under provisions of the act.

The settlement resolves the case against the Minneapolis-based company. It is not an admission of guilt, and the Department of Justice said there has been no determination of liability.